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Michelin Men Dominate First Three Rows

Michelin riders were able to dominate this afternoon's Portuguese GP qualifying session, the French tyre brand's seven MotoGP riders filling seven of the first eight places on the grid.

Most impressive was dazzling rookie Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) who swept to his third successive pole position, maintaining his 100 per cent pole record by cutting almost six tenths off last year's pole time. He was chased hard by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) who ended the session just two tenths behind his compatriot to repeat the pair's one-two qualifying performance at last month's Spanish GP. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) was a close fourth, duplicating his Spanish GP grid position, the American just 0.067 seconds down on Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1) in third. Today's conditions were cool and sunny.

"Today went quite well, both with our qualifying tyres and our race tyres," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "All our riders were able to go very fast on qualifiers, particularly Jorge and Dani, who were amazingly quick. Most of our riders already know which race tyres they will use tomorrow and have done good long-distance runs. The range of tyre choices is quite similar, with just minor difference is compounds, according to each rider's machine type and riding style. Conditions have been quite cool here, proving once again that our tyres now have a good operating range and good warm-up. The only question mark over tomorrow is the weather, the forecast says it shouldn't rain but it's difficult to predict what track temperature we will have to deal with tomorrow afternoon. I think it should be a good race and a good show."

Double 250 World Champion Lorenzo is aiming to score his first win here, after second- and third-places finishes in his first two MotoGP races at Losail and Jerez. "This is another dream come true, I feel no pressure at the moment, so every result I get is like a gift," said Lorenzo. "My thanks as always to Michelin and my team - if we continue like this I'm sure I will get the win soon."

The second row is monopolised by Michelin men - Hayden, then Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) and James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin). Row three is Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) and Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin) ahead of Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici).

Qualifying Practice Classification

1. Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team- Michelin, 1'35.715

2. Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team- Michelin),1'35.948

3. Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team),1'36.199

4. Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team-Michelin),1'36.266

5.Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha- Michelin),1'36.289

6. James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha- Michelin),1'36.790

7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP-Michelin),1'36.998

8. Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP- Michelin),1'37.223

9. Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team),1'37.253

10. John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'37.346

11. Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini),1'37.664

12.Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP),1'37.786

13. Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP),1'37.843

14. Toni ELIAS (Alice Team DUCATI),1'38.561

15. Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team),1'38.775

16. Alex DE ANGELIS (Honda Gresini),1'38.823

17. Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team),1'39.115

18. Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team),1'39.355

April 2008